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Anastasiades calls Akel criticisms unjustifiable

President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday he has been unjustifiably criticised by main opposition Akel over his handling of the reunification talks whose collapse is being pinned on him rather than Turkey’s intransigence on certain issues.

The president denied exchanging barbs with Akel, arguing he has been on the receiving end of the party’s criticism without responding.

“I haven’t uttered one negative statement about Akel,” he said. “I am being unjustifiably criticised since the end of the process in Crans-Montana (Switzerland, last year).

He said despite it being well-known as to who was responsible for the collapse “they are trying to pin the blame on me, or the Greek Cypriot side.”

Anastasiades said he was being patient but he was also human, and as the president had to restore the truth.

“I am not seeking confrontation with any political party but it is also impossible to tolerate being blamed because I don’t accept Turkish demands,” he added.

Akel and ruling Disy, meanwhile, said on Wednesday they had to set aside their differences and focus on what they agreed on because of the critical times the Cyprus problem was going through.

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou, who is scheduled to meet Anastasiades on Thursday, met Disy chief Averof Neophytou to discuss developments in the Cyprus problem.

Kyprianou, who also met Diko chief Nicolas Papadopoulos on Tuesday, said “during such moments it’s everyone’s obligation to set aside any differences and disagreements with other political parties as regards the national issue, and try to focus on what unites them.”

He said their position was that neither partition, nor confederation should be an option but insistence on a bicommunal, bizonal federal (BBF) settlement that would rid Cyprus of occupying forces and guarantees.

Talk of partition and confederation was ignited recently after Anastasiades brought up the idea of a loose or decentralised federation during a national council meeting.

Neophytou agreed that a BBF was the only model on the table, even if some people on both sides of the divide may not agree with it.

“A two-state or confederal solution cannot be supported by us,” Neophytou said. He added that his party will support the president in his effort to resume talks.

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